Vikki Tailor is a final year student at Birmingham City University's School of Media who studies BA (Hons) Media and Communication (Public Relations). She explains to us how she is balancing her final year workload, social life and virtual work experience. Vikki also advises us through five tips on how we can maintain a positive and healthy mindset!
Have you found yourself bored in lockdown and struggling for motivation? Everyone knows that lockdown can be lonely and isolated whether you’re staying in your hometown or at your university accommodation - we know it gets hard.
As a final year media student balancing a social life with my friends in our flat, completing remote work experience, applying for graduate jobs, completing my major project and additional university work, I know that maintaining a positive mindset is one of the most difficult things to do.
Here are five tips I've learned during lockdown to stay happy and maintain a positive and active mind-set.
1. Exercise - I believe this word is overused sometimes, but being fit and active is extremely good for you even if this means completing only one walk, a day. Especially with this cold weather, going outside is harder than ever. Not everyone has access to gym/ exercise equipment or even has the energy for it. I realised if I go outside at least once a day, for a twenty-minute walk at least I’d feel a bit better and happier about my day.
2. Create a daily plan - having a daily plan really helps, even if it's just a mental note it can help to start your day off with a positive mind-set. Simply telling yourself ‘Today I will do three hours of work, eat three meals, go for a walk and remember to call a friend or family member before I relax this evening’ really does help and can make you feel fulfilled as you were able to use your time wisely and get things done.
3. Watch comedy films and shows - also on the BCU blog page is an article on why TV and radio are good for your mental health. I’ve found this to be true with comedies. I’ve been watching shows like Modern Family and Superstore on Netflix and being able to have a little laugh really does boost your mood, and therefore lead to an increased positive mind-set for some of the day!
4. Note down 2 things you're grateful for every day - as cliché as it sounds, journaling helps get your emotions and negative thoughts out, leaving space for positive thoughts only. In this digital age telling you to sit down and write probably won't flow as well, so instead I suggest creating a private social media account on. Twitter for example, which has no followers, no following and is kept completely private. Upload some positive affirmations and let out all of your negative thoughts on this account. Not only will you be letting out your private thoughts but they will be kept to yourself. Likewise, show some gratitude, realising the good things you have in your life humbles you and reminds you that you do have a lot to be grateful about.
5. Create a routine - overall all of these tasks point towards having a routine. You are in control of your mind-set and whatever you decide to do is up to you. A routine helps you to cancel out the excessive free time that clouds your mind with negative thoughts and gives way for reflection and taking positive approaches to daunting tasks. Having routines in place is proven to reduce your stress levels which leads to improved mental health, resulting in more time to relax and less anxiety.
It's best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking up and going to bed. Better health is a result of just a little extra planning and maintaining a routine. The recent announcement with a date for the lifting of the national lockdown has brought some hope in getting back to our previous normality, but we need to make use of our time now and remain positive during these dark times. A pandemic is a new reality for us all but we need to try and maintain some routine to keep ourselves going and staying motivated. These tips may not work for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a try if you feel you're struggling!
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